Donald Trump's Georgia rally message helped Dems more than Republicans, says GOP Lt Governor Geoff Duncan
Speaking with CNN, Duncan expressed his dismay over the outgoing president's claims on election fraud in Valdosta where he campaigned for January 5 Senate runoffs
President Donald Trump is yet to concede defeat to president-elect Joe Biden in the November 3 election. He has challenged the results legally so far with little success. But that hasn’t stopped either the incumbent or his loyalists to give up. But Trump’s stubborn stand has left the Republican Party divided with several voices in it raising concerns over a probable long-term damage inflicted on its political future.
After the loss of Trump in the presidential election, the GOP is desperate to bag the two Senate seats in Georgia which Trump lost to Biden closely. The runoff elections in the Peach State will be held on January 5 and the GOP will need to win both to maintain its dominance in the chamber. Currently, it has 50 seats while the Democratic Party has 46 while two belong to Independents who caucus with the blue party. A 50-50 divide with a Democratic vice-president having the tie-breaking vote will not be something the red party will be looking for.
But Trump’s rally in Valdosta, Georgia, on Saturday (December 5) night, in favor of the two GOP candidates -- Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue -- has not impressed the party. The maverick president came up with a rambling and unfocused speech at the rally in which he spoke on grievances about the November election. In his first campaign since the defeat, Trump was accused of peddling falsehoods by baselessly claiming that the election was compromised in favor of his opponent.
Trump said he won the state and was going to turn the results around, despite them being certified in favor of Biden. “We won Georgia, just so you know,” Trump said. “We never lost an election, we’re winning this election.” He though encouraged the voters to cast their ballots in favor of Loeffler and Perdue, contradicting some of his loyalists.
Georgia’s Lt Governor Geoff Duncan, a Republican, was not entirely happy with the president’s words. Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union”, the 45-year-old leader expressed disappointment over the message that Trump delivered at the Valdosta rally and even went to the extent of saying that the president might have done the winning prospects of both Loeffler and Perdue. While Loeffler will lock horns with Democrat Raphael Warnock, Perdue will be challenged by Jon Ossoff.
After Trump pressured Georgia's governor to help overturn Biden's win in the state, Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan says the President "did not win the state of Georgia": "As the lieutenant governor and a Georgian, I'm proud that we can see that this election was fair" #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/kxqFtRRGp2— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 6, 2020
Duncan, who said Biden will take oath as the 46th president of the US in January, made it evident in his words that he found Trump’s message a mixed bag for the GOP. When asked if Trump helped or hurt the two GOP candidates, Duncan made a very cautious criticism of the president.
“The president at a rally in Georgia last night insists he won your state, which is not true,” Tapper said. “He attacked your governor and attacked the Republican Secretary of State, going after [Brad] Raffensperger, a friend of yours. He called the election rigged. Set the record state if you would.”
Trump slammed Georgia governor, secretary of state
Trump has also lambasted Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and the state’s GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for utilizing Dominion voting machines in the Peach State. Days after the election was called for Biden, Trump floated a baseless conspiracy theory about Dominion Voting Systems, an election-software company that was used by battleground states, including Georgia and Michigan, both of which the GOP leader lost.
“The first part was very encouraging to listen to the president champion the conservative strategies of Senators Loeffler and Perdue and the importance for them being re-elected and the second message was concerning to me,” Duncan responded to Tapper. “I worry that this continues fanning of the flames around misinformation puts us in a negative position with regard to the January 5th runoff.”
Duncan added: “You know, the mountains of misinformation are not helping the process but only hurting it. I worry we are handing off a playbook to the Democrats for January 5th and I certainly can’t think of a worse playbook to handoff over the last four or five weeks to the Democrats.” The lieutenant governor said the attacks made by the president left him disgusted.